French: Bonjour!

Distribution: Countries include but not limited to: France, Belgium, Canada, Lebanon, Morroco, and Haiti.

Introduction: French is an Indo-European language and part of the Romance group. Although different dialects exist in French, they are mutually comprehensible. Norman contributed greatly to English, causing many similarities between French and English, both in syntax and vocabulary.

Cultural and Rhetorical Influences

  • Very formal: not as open as Americans and may take time to be acquaintances.

  • May be aggressive in social settings (argue in sessions when suggestions are made).

    • Voicing opinions is highly valued.

  • Traditionally independent.


  • French is a very prescriptivist language.

  • Alphabet: Very similar, excluding letters with diacritics: é (acute acent) è à ù (grave accent), ç (cedilla), â ê î ô û(circumflex), ë ï ü (diaeresis):

    • May mix up i or j when with e or g.

  • Phonology can cause problems with spelling:

    • May omit “H” in words (‘Ave you ‘eard about ‘arry?).

      • This can lead to over pronunciation, like in honor or hour.

  • Grammar is very similar to English; however, tenses are used differently which may cause improper tense use in English.

  • Does not have the word “do” which can cause problems forming a question.

  • Articles may sometimes be missing.

  • Subject verb object syntax may get mixed up:

    • You with I play sometimes golf.


Shoebottom, Paul. A Guide to Learning English. 1996. Website. 27 Apr. 2014.

Walter, Catherine. "French Speakers." Learner English: A Teacher's Guide to Interference and Other Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ed. Swan, Michael and Bernard Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 52-72. Print.